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Music-hall star Madeleine Marlowe leaves London engaged to the Duke of Trippingham only to find back home that Police Gazette hack Samuel A. McGee has exposed her as former burlesque queen Rosie O'Grady. To get her own back she announces that Sam is in fact her real suitor. He in turn has a song about Rosie published and something of an Irish brawl develops via his paper and her stage show. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
At 74 minutes, "Sweet Rosie O'Grady" is just long enough and does not wear out its welcome. But it is so good good-humored and good-natured that it is tough to dislike. It must have been a B musical when it came out and there is only one memorable song in the score, "My Heart Tells Me", sung by Betty Grable. The male lead, Robert Young, is a stranger to musicals but does, in fact, get to sing the title song - and was amazingly good.
The story is outlandish, about a saloon singer from Brooklyn who becomes an international sensation and returns, hopefully in triumph. Young is a reporter who spills the beans about her humble beginnings, and she vows revenge. From there they each try to outdo the other in revenge mode, and from here the plot goes far afield.
It is all harmless fun, and as bright and glossy as Fox could make it. The surprise, as noted above, is Young, who I didn't consider as either particularly funny or as a singer, but who proves he can be both here. Good support from Adolph Menjou and Reginald Gardner helps the cause. Leonard Maltin raved about Menjou in his review, and he gave a workmanlike but unspectacular performance. Makes you wonder if he ever sees any of these oldies he reviews.
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